Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Timothy Billings
Not Peer Reviewed

Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)



126
Loues Labour's lost


Actus Secunda.



490
Enter the Princesse of France, with three attending Ladies,
and three Lords.

Boyet. Now Madam summon vp your dearest spirits,
Consider who the King your father sends:
To whom he sends, and what's his Embassie.
495Your selfe, held precious in the worlds esteeme,
To parlee with the sole inheritour
Of all perfections that a man may owe,
Matchlesse Nauarre, the plea of no lesse weight
Then Aquitaine, a Dowrie for a Queene.
500Be now as prodigall of all deare grace,
As Nature was in making Graces deare,
When she did starue the generall world beside,
And prodigally gaue them all to you.
Queen. Good L. Boyet, my beauty though but mean,
505Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by iudgement of the eye,
Not vttred by base sale of chapmens tongues:
I am lesse proud to heare you tell my worth,
Then you much wiling to be counted wise,
510In spending your wit in the praise of mine.
But now to taske the tasker, good Boyet,
Prin. You are not ignorant all-telling fame
Doth noyse abroad Nauar hath made a vow,
Till painefull studie shall out-weare three yeares,
515No woman may approach his silent Court:
Therefore to's seemeth it a needfull course,
Before we enter his forbidden gates,
To know his pleasure, and in that behalfe
Bold of your worthinesse, we single you,
520As our best mouing faire soliciter:
Tell him, the daughter of the King of France,
On serious businesse crauing quicke dispatch,
Importunes personall conference with his grace.
Haste, signifie so much while we attend,
525Like humble visag'd suters his high will.
Boy. Proud of imployment, willingly I goe.
Exit.
Prin. All pride is willing pride, and yours is so:
Who are the Votaries my louing Lords, that are vow-
fellowes with this vertuous Duke?
530Lor. Longauill is one.
Princ. Know you the man?
1 Lady. I know him Madame at a marriage feast,
Betweene L. Perigort and the beautious heire
Of Iaques Fauconbridge solemnized.
535In Normandie saw I this Longauill,
A man of soueraigne parts he is esteem'd:
Well fitted in Arts, glorious in Armes:
Nothing becomes him ill that he would well.
The onely soyle of his faire vertues glosse,
540If vertues glosse will staine with any soile,
Is a sharp wit match'd with too blunt a Will:
Whose edge hath power to cut whose will still wills,
It should none spare that come within his power.
Prin. Some merry mocking Lord belike, ist so?
545Lad. 1. They say so most, that most his humors know.
Prin. Such short liu'd wits do wither as they grow.
Who are the rest?
2. Lad. The yong Dumaine, a well accomplisht youth,
Of all that Vertue loue, for Vertue loued.
550Most power to doe most harme, least knowing ill:
For he hath wit to make an ill shape good,
And shape to win grace though she had no wit.
I saw him at the Duke Alansoes once,
And much too little of that good I saw,
555Is my report to his great worthinesse.
Rossa. Another of these Students at that time,
Was there with him, as I haue heard a truth.
Berowne they call him, but a merrier man,
Within the limit of becomming mirth,
560I neuer spent an houres talke withall.
His eye begets occasion for his wit,
For euery obiect that the one doth catch,
The other turnes to a mirth-mouing iest.
Which his faire tongue (conceits expositor)
565Deliuers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged eares play treuant at his tales,
And yonger hearings are quite rauished.
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
Prin. God blesse my Ladies, are they all in loue?
570That euery one her owne hath garnished,
With such bedecking ornaments of praise.
Ma. Heere comes Boyet.

Enter Boyet.

Prin. Now, what admittance Lord?
575Boyet. Nauar had notice of your faire approach,
And he and his competitors in oath,
Were all addrest to meete you gentle Lady
Before I came: Marrie thus much I haue learnt,
He rather meanes to lodge you in the field,
580Like one that comes heere to besiege his Court,
Then seeke a dispensation for his oath:
To let you enter his vnpeopled house.

Enter Nauar, Longauill, Dumaine, and Berowne.

Heere comes Nauar.
585Nau. Faire Princesse, welcom to the Court of Nauar.
Prin. Faire I giue you backe againe, and welcome I
haue not yet: the roofe of this Court is too high to bee
yours, and welcome to the wide fields, too base to be
mine.
Nau. You shall be welcome Madam to my Court.
Prin. I wil be welcome then, Conduct me thither.
Nau. Heare me deare Lady, I haue sworne an oath.
Prin. Our Lady helpe my Lord, he'll be forsworne.
Nau. Not for the world faire Madam, by my will.
595Prin. Why, will shall breake it will, and nothing els.
Nau. Your Ladiship is ignorant what it is.
Prin. Were my Lord so, his ignorance were wise,
Where now his knowledge must proue ignorance.
I heare your grace hath sworne out Houseekeeping:
600'Tis deadly sinne to keepe that oath my Lord,
And sinne to breake it:
But pardon me, I am too sodaine bold,
To teach a Teacher ill beseemeth me.
Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my comming,
605And sodainly resolue me in my suite.
Nau. Madam, I will, if sodainly I may.
Prin. You will the sooner that I were away,
For you'll proue periur'd if you make me stay.
Berow. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
610Rosa. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once?
L3v
Ber. I